The State of C-Store & Petroleum
Ambidextrous Commercial Sign Services for C-Stores
The convenience store and petroleum market is a complicated and nuanced sector to service. They deal with all of the regulatory oversight of any retail business plus alcohol, tobacco, petroleum, food service, and any litany of complications that come with the specifics of their location. And after all of that, they have to think about the competitive nature of their business and shepherding their brand through their customer experiences.
The Experience of a Big Brand, the Service of a Family Business
Our 3rd generation family-owned private company is fortunate to have a long history with some of the best brands in this business. We take the responsibility of shepherding their brands very seriously. Over the last 50 years of evolving with our c-store clients, we’ve learned how to provide ambidextrous services to always anticipate the various needs of our clients and take as much of their burden as we can off their shoulders.
Differing Sign Systems for Ground-Ups and Rebrands / Acquisitions
The c-store market is growing like crazy. This growth generally takes one of two paths. A “Ground-Up” (or “organic”) is what we call a newly constructed store. A “Rebrand” usually occurs when one brand acquires another and they remove the previous brand’s elements and replace them with the new brand.
Turnkey Sign Services for C-Stores
In 2015 we provided turnkey sign services for hundreds of standalone 7-Eleven projects in California, Texas, New York and Florida. We also helped Gate Petroleum open a number of new stores with the new signage system we designed for them. Most of that work is exterior signage and some lighting. For First Coast Energy’s rapidly growing Daily’s brand, we provide turnkey sign services for exteriors and interiors.
Turnkey Sign Services:
- Project Management
- Ground-Up Locations
Several hundred of the 7-Eleven stores we worked on this year were ground-up locations. For these we help the client plan their site from the beginning to consider electrical servicing, local permitting requirements, engineering considerations and what best serves the client’s brand. We also help them translate their designs into the sign systems, custom manufacture the signage, schedule delivery based on construction timelines and install the signs. Timelines on projects like this can often be very long, so we have project managers tasked with keeping up with every stage of a project and managing deliveries according to client needs.
When a chain of stores is acquired by another brand, timelines become more compressed and execution is dependent on the marketing strategy of the incumbent brand. Although permitting is usually a less intense process in these cases, our project managers usually have to consider LED retrofitting for signage and complicated logistical timelines for installs to minimize impact on the operating hours of the business. When 7-Eleven acquired the Tedeschi brand last year, we helped them make smooth transitions throughout all of their exterior signage changes. Rebranding the interior and exterior of 10 new Daily’s locations, the process was even trickier because interior color schemes, designs, and lighting had to be considered with minimum impact on operations.
Quality Commercial Sign Systems and Installation Services
When considering a vendor for signage systems for c-stores, don’t just make a decision based on price, make sure you are working with an experienced partner. A price quoted early in a project can quickly grow wildly out of scope when the vendor isn’t vastly experienced and fails to anticipate any of the hundreds of complications that regularly arise on these projects. They are also likely to use materials and equipment that make the initial opening cost cheaper, but require rapid and frequent replacement, costing you a lot more in the long run. Even if you’re still vetting vendors, give our experts at Harbinger a call and let us help you with some free consultation about your project.